History of Bradford County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches
By H. C. Bradsby, 1891
PIKE TOWNSHIP-LE RAYSVILLE BOROUGH.
Page 479 - 482
THIS township was named in honor of Gen. Pike. Its principal stream is Wyalusing creek, and the smaller creeks are the Ross and Rockwell creeks which empty into the Wyalusing. About LeRaysville is high table land while other portions are rough and hilly, except along Wyalusing creek, where there is a fertile soil. The chief products at present are potatoes, cattle and butter. There are many large sugar orchards in this township.
Long before the coming of the whites, an Indian trail, from Wyalusing town to the present city of Binghampton, passed up along Wyalusing creek. The Connecticut settlers enlarged this trail and used it as a bridle path.
The Bosworths were of the first settlers in Pike township. Josiah came in 1798. He was a son of Joseph Bosworth; settled in the deep forest about three miles south of where is Le Raysville, and in a few years his cabin became the noted " Half-Way House " on the road from Towanda to Montrose; then the place was called Newtown. In 1817 Mr. Bosworth built his tavern, and kept it many years. He raised a company for the War of 1812 and proceeded as far as Danville, Pa., where they met the news of peace declared, and returned. Josiah was a native of Litchfield, Conn., born November 25, 1779 ; died September 22, 1858. He was one of Joseph Bosworth's eleven children, and to him were born thirteen children; one of his grandsons now occupies the old homestead, Josiah Bosworth was one day returning from church, and discovered a bear and treed it; took off his shirt, tied it around the foot of the tree, and thus kept the bear on his perch until be returned with his gun. and shot it.
Dimon and Benajah Bostwick, brothers, came from Connecticut and took up four hundred acres near what is now Stevensville. Dimon, with his newly married wife, Lois Olmstead, came in 1796, and Benajah came with his wife and a sister-in-law sometime afterward. Dimon was an admirable surveyor and draughtsman, a fine mathmatician, a man of wide reading and varied culture. These brothers lived to be old men. Dimon died in 1856, aged eighty-eight years. Benajah died in 1864, aged eighty-eight.
James Rockwell settled a little below Stevensville, in 1790. He raised the first tobacco and established the first brick manufactory in northern Pennsylvania. Seth P. Rockwell came in 1791, and settled on the creek that bears his name. He established the first tan- using wooden troughs for vats pounding the bark with an axe, and thus made the leather that shod himself and family. He put up a mortar and spring-pole mill that was used by all his neighbors. This man chopped his road to the place -where he settled, which he called "Newtown," where for seven years his only and nearest neighbor was Nathan Abbott, on what was known as the Ranson Colbaugh farm. Nathan Abbott and Darius and Elijah Coleman came about the same time as Rockwell.
Eleazer Russell came in 1792 with a pair of oxen and a sled, floating down the river to Wyalusing; lie poled the canoe up the creek, driving the cattle along the bank. Mr. Russell located on the Keeney farm. He was killed by the falling of a tree he was chopping down.
Ezekiel Brown was the other arrival in 1792, and he settled below Russell on the flats. Then Ephraim Fairchilds came in 1793, and located on the Aden Stevens place. The same year came Elisha Keeler and family, John Bradshaw and Capt. Isaac Bronson. Mr. Keeler in 1804 established a small store in his house. In company with Guy Welles, he established the first wool-carding machine in the county.
Nathan and Aden Stevens settled where is now Stevensville, in the spring of 1794. They cleared a small spot of ground when Nathan returned to Connecticut for his family. This family report that soon after coming they passed three months without a dust of flour in the house. Samuel Lucky came in 1793, and cleared a little spot of ground, then returned for his family. He bought his possession of Alva Bosworth, who it is supposed settled there in 1790 or 1791.
Salmon Bosworth, in 1795, settled above Stevensville and built a blacksmith shop. For many years he made scythes and axes for the settlers. The other Bosworths were Josiah, Alva, Reed and Joseph. The latter it is supposed came in 1806. In company with the Bosworths was Ezekiel Mowrey.
John Ford came in 1792. His brother, Bela Ford, came sometime after; made a small clearing and in 1805 sold it to James Brink. Thomas Brink came in 1797; his brother Nicholas had come at an early day but had been driven off by the Pennamite troubles. James Brink came in 1798, settling near Wyalusing, and in 1805 went to Pike and commenced a farm just south of Le Raysville. Ile bought the possession of Bela Ford, and moved into the cabin. Jesse and Daniel Ross were sons of Lieut. Perrin Frost, killed at Wyoming they came to Pike in 1796. William Johnson came to LeRays- ville in 1798 from Sheshequin, and improved the Zebulon Frisbie farm.
The Welsh Settlement.-The first to come was Joseph Jenkins, in 1824. he having purchased a large body of land of T. Mitchell. In the fall of the same year, Ed. Jones, Sr., came and settled near Jenkins. In 1825, David Thomas, Sr., and family, and Reese Griffies commenced an improvement on the David Thomas farm. . . About 1827, David Morris Came. The next year came David Williams.
Mr. Williams revisited his native Wales, and on his return brought his mother, two brothers (Philip and John), Rev. Daniel Jones, Samuel Davies and William Evans. Thomas Jones, a brother of Ed. Jones, Sr., settled north of David Morris. In 1833, Henry James and Thomas Walters, John Morris, Richard Williams, Daniel P. Jones, and John Davies came. In 1834 John Thomas, Mrs. Elizabeth Davies and Samuel Thomas settled at Neath. Same year came Israel Evans, John Jones, David J. Thomas, Jenkins Jones, who also settled near Neath, and David Davies, Thomas J. Thomas, Rodgers Griffies, Thomas Williams, Evan Evans, Dr. William Roberts, David E. Davies and Henry Davies were all prominent people in the Welsh settlement.
The Welsh Congregational Church, Neath, was organized in 1831, when several persons who were members of the same church in Wales came to Neath, bringing, their minister, Rev. Daniel Jones, with them. Soon the congregation increased, making the membership twenty, and they held their first meetings in log houses and barns. The first church and schoolhouse combined was built In 1833, another, which is still standing in 1848. and the present neat and beautiful country church in 1872. There are now ninety members. Rev. Jones was pastor from 1831 until 1849 ; Rev. Samuel A. Williams from 1849 to 1869; Rev. E. J. Morris, from 1869 until 1885, and Rev. John D. Jones, present incumbent, from 1885.
Alva Bosworth built a sawmill at Stevensville in 1815. He and his brother Salmon built the gristmill in 1819, in which was the first buhr-stones used in the county. The first school-honse was erected in 1S06, a log building where the Congregational church now stands. Patty Silt taught the first school Zernah Northrup taught the second ; Polly Canfield then taught a school in the old sawmill near Van Guilder's.
Stevensville was named in honor of Col. Abram Stevens. He raised a regiment for the War of 1812-15, and was elected colonel thereof. On their way to the seat of war they were met by the announcement of peace, and returned without seeing any active service in the front. The place has two general stores, the gristmill of William H. Jones, and Eastabrook & Stevens' sawmill.
The Phalanx, in Pike township, was a remarkable institution. There came, in 1841, about fifty people who purchased 600 acres of land, a part of which is now the farm of George _.NT. Brink, on the Owego road. Their temporary buildings were soon replaced by large solid stone structures. dwellings for all the members, store rooms, a schoolroom and chapel. Ev thing was in common, men working in the field, and women in the house, and they had a large dancing hall. The career of the affair was ended in four short years, when the founder left the country. A part of their old buildings are now dwellings and barns. They started a publication called the North American -Phalanx.
LE RAYSVILLE BOROUGH.
This borough was incorporated May 16, 1863. It was named in honor of Le Ray de Chamont. The first officers were: Burgess, M. B. Porter; council, George H. Little, Nelson Ross, Trumball Benham, Daniel Bailey, Stephen Brink; C. P. Hodge, Sec.; Benjamin Pierce, Treas. Present officers: Burgess, Samuel 11, Davies; clerk, G. W. Brink; council, George N. J ohnson, Le Ray Coleman, L. P. Blackman, 0. G. Canfield. G. W. Brink has been clerk of the borough ever since it was incorporated, thirty-two years ago.
Le Raysville has the following business concerns: E. At. Bailey & Son's foundry (first built nearly opposite the hotel by Daniel Lewis was first run by horse-power. This was established during the "fifties." After five years it was moved to where it now stands. They manufacture plows), two drug stores, two cigar factories, two wagon shops, one boot and shoe store, two blacksmith shops, one grocery store, one furniture store, two hardware stores.